Both Sides Make Big Plays
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The initial look at Team 146 on the Class of 1954 Field at Yale Bowl was this afternoon in the first Blue-White pre-season football scrimmage.
It was a comfortable day for the players with a combination of sun and clouds and relatively cool temperatures. However, many Bulldog newcomers had outstanding performances, and the coaches might be a little uncomfortable deciding who makes the travel squad for the Sept. 15 opener at Holy Cross. That's a good problem for the Elis, the defending Ivy League Champions.
There was an equal balance of big plays from the White (offense) and the Blue (defense), but Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach, will never be satisfied with what he sees this early in the year.
"There was some good things and some things we need to work on. I think that we were very inconsistent in a lot of areas. We need to keep working and getting better every day. We need to continue to stack moments together and stack plays together. If we can do that every day, and continue to grow every day between now and the end of next week, we can become better for next Saturday," said Reno, whose team travels to Providence on Sept. 1 for a scrimmage with Brown.
Today's first half was operated close to a real-game situation, and there were close to 60 snaps. The first units got early action but soon gave way to second, third and fourth groups. Almost all the healthy Bulldogs saw action in the first two quarters.
The rest of the contest was just an abbreviated third quarter.
1st Q: Sophomore RB Michael Purvey 5-yard run (pass failed)
2nd Q: Sophomore TE J.J. Howland 35-yard pass from Sophomore QB Patrick Conte (pass failed)
2nd Q: Senior Blake Horn 45 Field Goal
3rd Q: First-Year RB Spencer Alston 5-yard run (Galland kick)
Junior QB Kurt Rawlings connected with sophomore WR Darrion Carrington (acrobatic catch) and junior WR JP Shohfi on two long pass plays… Sophomore QB Jimmy Check had long completions to senior WR C.J. McCord and junior TE Quinn Dawson… JJ Howland went up in traffic to haul in a Patrick Conte toss… Trenton Charles had a long kickoff return… Senior DB Daniel Debner blocked a punt and recovered the ball… First-year LB Noah Pope made 3 open-field, impact tackles… Rookie DB Brian Abraham registered an acrobatic interception along the sideline.
CAPTAIN NICHOLAS CROWLE SAID
About the Defense
"On the first drive we [defense] weren't really locked in at all, and they [offense] pretty much methodically drove the ball down the field… we couldn't do anything to stop it. On subsequent drives, I think we became intentional with what we were doing on the defensive side of the ball. We split with the [starters] and really started honing it in. I was pretty happy with what we got out of the defense today, for the most part. There were some lulls in there, but for the most part we had a good performance.
About the Overall Team Performance
"We're still very undisciplined. We had three too-many-men-on-the-field penalties, three different secondary penalties and we had a false start on an extra point. There's a lot of stuff we need to clean up right now. We're not perfect. We're very, very athletically gifted, but we're not there yet. We have a lot of work to do on this team."
QB KURT RAWLINGS SAID
About the Offense
"I think the offense has been getting better each day, which is good to see. Here and there we have glimpses of what we could be, and I think our potential is very high as an offense. We're just not doing it consistently enough yet. That's up front, that's at the quarterback position, that's at the receiver position, running back position, tight end, it's everybody right now. I've been really impressed with a lot of guys playing hard, we just need to keep giving 110% effort and start clicking all together. Some plays, here and there, we were clicking, but too many steps backwards."
On Getting Back to the Bowl
"It was exciting to get back out here. I'm ready to play somebody else. Ready to get it going. It's always great to be back with the guys out here playing in [a] game-like environment, seeing the guys having fun. That's what it's all about, coming out here and having fun in the Bowl. I'm excited to do it against someone else though."
MORE FROM RENO
"I thought Kurt (Rawlings) played well, I think our first team offense did a nice job. Obviously, Alan (Lamar) and Zane (Dudek) both ran well. I thought that defensively, we did some nice things with the first group. Noah Pope, one of our first-year linebackers was really a nice surprise, I thought he did a really nice job. He gave us a guy who could really run and get off the edge to add to that group that we have, and hopefully continue to compete. We'll see. Those guys were positives today, and I think we need to watch the film and figure out who the rest of the guys were."
By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity